Journal of the History of Collections, July 2014

Posted in journal articles, reviews by Editor on June 28, 2014

The eighteenth century in the Journal of the History of Collections (though other pieces for periods both earlier and later will likely also be of interest) . . .

Journal of the History of Collections 26 (July 2014)


Alexander Echlin, “Dynasty, Archaeology and Conservation: The Bourbon Rediscovery of Pompeii and Herculaneum in Eighteenth-Century Naples,” pp. 145–59 (first published online 1 April 2014).

The rediscovery of the ancient sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum in the eighteenth century attracted a huge response from contemporary commentators. Many of these, as well as almost all subsequent judgements from historians, are very critical of the Bourbon excavators. Charles, King of Naples, and his team of antiquaries have been depicted as charlatans, treating ancient artefacts and the sites poorly, interested in them only in so far as they glorified their kingdom. In this article it is argued that, with an understanding of contemporary approaches to antiquity and conservation, this verdict on the Bourbons seems unduly harsh. Their archaeological methods and treatment of classical art were typical for the eighteenth century and were, in some ways, progressive. In support of this harsh judgement of Charles, Winckelmann has been portrayed as a savage critic of the excavations; in reality he was kinder to the Bourbons than historians have believed.

Julia Lenaghan, “The Cast Collection of John Sanders, Architect, at the Royal Academy, ” pp. 193–205 (first published online 4 November 2013).

John Sanders (1768–1826) was an architect and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London. He was the first student and a life-long friend of Sir John Soane. In 1817 in retirement he travelled to the Continent, where he studied and recorded with academic zeal the architectural monuments of the classical world which had so influenced his mentor and his world. In Rome he amassed a comprehensive and original collection of plaster casts of ‘architectural’ details. This collection was purchased by the Royal Academy in 1830, and much of it remains today part of the permanent collection of the Academy. This article presents the history and use of this early, non-figural, collection of plaster casts.

Paulo Oliveira Ramos, “The Royal Decree of 1721 and the Ephemeral Archaeological Collection of the Royal Academy of Portuguese History,” pp. 223–27 (first published online 22 January 2014).

In the great Lisbon earthquake of 1755, the palace of the Dukes of Braganza collapsed and its priceless treasures were lost forever. Although the content of its archaeological collection—said to constitute the first Portuguese museum of archaeology—is almost impossible to recover in detail today, the process behind its formation can be glimpsed in the documentary record. Two main aspects have emerged in the course of the present research: on the one hand, the relevance of the Royal Decree of 1721 as a crucial moment in the history of heritage preservation in Portugal and in Europe—and also as the inspiration for the archaeological collection; and, on the other hand, the antiquarian commitment of the Marquis of Abrantes.

Stephen Clarke, “Rosamond’s Bower, The Pryor’s Bank, and the Long Shadow of Strawberry Hill,” pp. 287–306 (first published online 4 March 2014).

The influence of Horace Walpole’s Strawberry Hill is traced in the little-known collections created in the 1830s and early 1840s at Rosamond’s Bower by the writer and antiquary Thomas Crofton Croker (joint author of the Gooseberry Hall satire of the Strawberry Hill sale of 1842) and by Thomas Baylis and Lechmere Whitmore at The Pryor’s Bank, both at Fulham. They were active purchasers at the sale (particularly Baylis), and Walpole’s Description of Strawberry Hill is a continuing presence behind Croker’s accounts of both collections. Both houses were social spaces, presented for antiquarian display, and in the case of The Pryor’s Bank in particular that display was played out in entertainments and Dickensian amateur theatricals. An under-explored element in this combination of collecting, antiquarianism, and jocularity is the Noviomagian Society, an antiquarian dining club of which Croker was a founder and which has connections to both houses.


Jeremy Coote, Review of Holophusicon: The Leverian Museum – An Eighteenth-Century English Institution of Science, Curiosity, and Art,” pp. 317–18 (first published online 18 April 2014).

Jörg Zutter, Review of Houghton Revisited: The Walpole Masterpieces from Catherine the Great’s Hermitage, pp. 319–21 (first published online 11 June 2014).

Arthur MacGregor, Review of Natural Histories: Extraordinary Rare Book Selections from the American Museum of Natural History Library, pp. 322–23 (first published online 8 May 2014).

Peter Mason, Review of Historias Naturales: Un Proyecto de Miguel Ángel Blanco, pp. 323–24 (first published online 16 May 2014).

Charles Sebag-Montefiore, Review of Provenance: An Alternate History of Art, pp. 324–25 (first published online 18 April 2014).


Call for Papers | CAA 2015 Session, Art Editing on the Web

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on June 28, 2014

A late addition to the CAA 2015 sessions:

Did You Read That? Art Editing on the Web
Session at the 103rd Annual Conference of the College Art Association
New York, 11–14 February 2015

Proposals due by 31 July 2014

Sponsored by the Association of Art Editors, the session “Did You Read That? Art Editing on the Web” will explore the current state of art editing on the web. Panelists will discuss the varying levels of work and practices involved in editing texts for publication online, from the mechanical and technical aspects (research, fact checking, making corrections after publishing) to larger conceptual and ethical matters (changing attitudes toward quality). Writers and editors today have access to a wide range of resources—from Google searches and Wikipedia to JSTOR and Oxford Art Online—that were unavailable (and even unimaginable) twenty or thirty years ago. How has the advent of such resources affected the editorial process?

This session, whose format will be a roundtable conversation, with the chair serving as an active interviewer rather than a passive moderator, will focus on specific examples and case studies rather than on generalizations and abstractions. Speakers, who may include authors, critics, editors, or publishers, will address personal and academic
websites, online versions of printed publications, born-digital journals, and blogs; they may also consider the training of younger writers, critics, historians, and editors.

The chair seeks four participants for the session. Speakers are not required to present a paper prepared in advance, although a brief presentation of five to ten minutes can be accommodated. Please send a letter of interest, a CV, and your area(s) of professional interest and expertise to Christopher Howard at chris@christopher-howard.net.

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